Moose. The symbol of Sweden.
They are Majestic. Regal.
Moose are absolutely huge. It’s extremely humbling when you happen to see one up close and personal. Moose weigh up to about 700 Kg and they’re about 2 meters tall. They are MASSIVE.
They truly are the Kings of the Scandinavian Woods. (And North America!)
Growing up in the Swedish countryside, surrounded by woods, I’ve always had respect for these gentle giants. You did not want to meet one at night driving your car. The impact is the same as hitting a train at full speed.
Once when I was about 17, I was in the kitchen making a cup of tea when I suddenly got that horrible feeling… My hair at the back of my neck stood up and my blood froze.
I had that feeling like someone was watching me. I turned to the window and there it was. A huge dark shadow, staring right at me.
It was early autumn and it had already started getting darker in the evenings so initially I couldn’t really make out what the shadow was. Trust me when I say that I was PETRIFIED.
However, I soon realised it was a huge Moose cow. And she was in our garden. Eating our apples.
Having Moose appear in your garden does happen on occasion so I wasn’t too bothered by that.
But something was odd… She was acting erratically.
Eating the apples but sort of dropping them and slobbering all over place. She couldn’t walk straight.
She looked… drunk.
We called the farmer next door and he informed us that yes – she was indeed drunk. She had eaten all the over ripe apple off our trees and she was wasted.
We had no choice but to wait her out. She ate some more apples and eventually wobbled back to whence she came. I thought of offering her a strong cup of coffee, *jordgubbssaft and a couple of paracetamol to help with the hangover but decided against it.
I promise you. You’ve not lived until you’ve seen a drunk Moose.
Moose are really abundant in that part of Sweden so there are lots of Moose road signs around. Growing up, the word was that the German tourists used to steal the “Beware, Moose!” signs of the road. I’m not sure if there’s any truth in this but they sure do love a Moose Safari.
And who can blame them?!
I was delightfully surprised by how much I enjoyed this outing to Virum Älgsafari.
We arrived early and I’m very happy that we did because we didn’t have to queue for the ride.
We jumped in one of the carriages, ready to meet the Moose.
The Rangers talked through the safety rules and explained not to get out of the carriage, stay seated and calm.
The Moose were all out in the paddock and they moved up to greet the tractor. They were absolutely huge up close. We’d all been given vegetables and greens to give the Moose.
The Rangers said that the Moose will give you a kiss if you lean out with a treat. There was no way in hell I was going to do this. But then when my 6 year nephew did it without hesitation I couldn’t really NOT try.
So that’s how it happened.
I kissed a Moose and I liked it.
I received a slobbery kiss from Albin the Moose and I can confirm that it was pleasant and not at all scary.
Our kids loved the ride and the whole outing in general. We had lunch near the playground and seeing the massive queues waiting for the next Safari I was really glad we’d been on the first ride.
There’s a cafe and a shop onsite too that sell the normal tourist paraphernalia. And a lot of Moose road signs – presumably for the German tourists.
Livermore’s Top Tips:
- Arrive early. Make sure you get on the first ride of the day. You can’t pre-book and the Safari gets really busy.
- Bring hand gel
- Bring a packed lunch. The cafe is lovely, but as with most things in Sweden, a bit pricey
- There’s only one customer toilet by the cafe and shop and so the queue was very long. There are toilets outside by the first barn on your left as your enter the Moose Park.
- Try the Zip Wire.
* Yes. It does work. (I swear by this hangover cure.)